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How to Teach Young Kids Coding

teaching children coding

As the world moves more and more online, basic coding and technical skills are becoming increasingly valuable. From website optimization to data collecting, almost every company requires coding. If parents are looking for a fun, creative, challenging way for their kids to get a head start on getting ahead in the workplace, coding is an excellent life skill for kids to start honing. Not to mention, most coding classes can be completed online making it a great summer socially distanced activity to keep your kids engaged.

Free Coding Classes

Coding is a great skill for your kids to have on their resume, and many organizations offer scholarships for enthusiasm and skill in programming. Here are some free, accredited coding courses:

Code Monster

Code Monster is a great tool to help kids practice or learn coding by doing. Its game-like interface has two boxes, one featuring the code, the other demonstrating what that code does. Kids can edit and change the code while seeing exactly what their edits create.

code.org

code.org is a nonprofit dedicated to helping kids get started in programming. It flaunts apps, resources, and a database for local schools that teach coding. 

Scratch

This site easy to use site gets kids excited about coding. Created by MIT students, kids code by arranging Scratch blocks. Instead of maneuvering lengthy, hieroglyph code, kids can manipulate data as if they were virtual Tetris pieces, building anything they can think of. It also has an age-appropriate online forum for kids to chat about ideas.

Khan Academy

In addition to math instruction, Khan also has lessons on programming basics such as creating animations, interactive images, and graphics. They’ve recently partnered with Pixar, which inspires kids on how to use coding to become animators.

Swift Playgrounds

Helmed by Apple, this app helps kids learn coding by solving puzzles.

Low-Cost Coding

A solid understanding of even the basics of coding can turn out to be a life long investment in your child’s education and future. 

Codemoji

Starting at $7 a month, Codemoji is a super fun, user-friendly resource for kids to learn coding by using emojis to substitute for HTML or CSS codes. 

Lightbot

For only a one time charge of $2.99, Lightbot is a puzzle game designed to teach kids coding while they play.

Kodable

Kodable is one of the top coding resources used in schools. After a free trial, parents can pay $6.99/month or $59.88/year for a fleshed-out programming curriculum for kids.

While it may seem counterintuitive to encourage children to play and learn online, coding is an incredibly valuable skill for children to learn at a young age. Asides from being a great way for kids to express themselves creatively, have an opportunity to earn a scholarship, and form strong connections and friendships, it’s also a great start to a lucrative career. The average beginner programmer makes around $85k annually. If you are interested in learning more about how your child can learn to code, reach out to us!

Agree on Expectations

Communication is the foundation of every relationship. Discuss expectations with your prospective nanny and have them written down and displayed in a space where they can see. Before the trial begins, go through each task or desire point by point to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Not everyone can get it right the first time, but if the nanny isn’t following instructions or taking direction well during the trial, that’s a very telling sign. But if they go above and beyond what was discussed, asking questions and taking direction well, that’s a great candidate. We have an agreement forms and checklists on our resources page to assist families in brainstorming what you may want or need from a nanny, and how to articulate those needs to maximize the relationship. Let us know if you have any questions or need help forming and articulating your expectations for your nanny’s trial.

Trials are Paid

Even if you decide not to hire a nanny, a trial is still a day spent working and they deserve to be paid for the hours given. A trial period is typically paid in the same hourly amount you are offering for the job.

communication is key! It’s imperative that both you and your nanny are open with each other about expectations

Set Yourself up for Success

Every household is different, and every nanny comes in with a different background of experiences. It’s important to communicate your expectations and have your trial period reflect what a day would be like for the nanny and your children. If your nanny is thriving, so are your children. Help your nanny help you by giving them clear instructions and information they need such as allergies, restrictions like limited screen time or snack time, information on the best ways to put them down for a nap, etc. Don’t leave your nanny to guess what you need, you want to see how they follow directions. If you are unsure what a day for your nanny would look like, reach out to us and we can help you create a schedule for both your trial and your nanny’s day-to-day life.

Speak Up

We can’t say it enough: communication is key! It’s imperative that both you and your nanny are open with each other about expectations. After the trial, ask them leading questions about what’s high on your priority list: were you comfortable driving to the park? how did you feel correcting our child’s behavior? was cooking meals too much? Inversely, be honest in answering your prospective nanny’s questions. Kindly offer suggestions on how they could do better next time, but give them the room to find their footing, it’s not easy entering someone else’s home! The communication during the trial period with your new nanny is your chance to set boundaries and groundwork for your future in working together, it’s much easier to correct behavior in the beginning and steer the course towards success than it is once you have all settled into a routine.

Make Yourself Available

Ideally, during the trail you would be able to walk your prospective nanny through the day, showing them what parks to go to, when to give snacks, where to find certain necessities, how to handle certain situations. Of course with busy schedules, it is not always possible, but you should set aside a little time to observe the nanny with your child, stepping in when needed and being there if the nanny has any questions. It is also valuable for your child to get one on one time with the nanny to give them room to see if they are a good fit for each other.

Be Honest

Even if the nanny has every qualification and seems to be everything you wanted on paper, but something in your gut says it isn’t working out – listen to it! This is what trials are all about. Maybe the right candidate doesn’t check all of your boxes in the interview, but during the trial they connect with your child like no one else has. Be honest with yourself and with your potential nanny and move forward if your gut believes it’s the right move, and let it go if it’s not.

Let us know how your nanny trials have gone! If you are interested in learning more about how to conduct a nanny trial, or are ready to begin your search for your perfect nanny, reach out to us. We are more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have, even if you are not registered with us. Let me know your trial top tips below!

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